Time for the Church to invest in carbon neutral property

By Jonathan Bartley
February 3, 2010

I see that the Bishop of Liverpool, James Jones, spoke in the Lords yesterday (Feb 2).

He asked a supplementary question during Lord Howarth of Newport's question on the Homes and Communities Agency. Bishop James asked the Minister if the government could give an undertaking that by 2016 all new homes would be carbon neutral.

The full text is here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200910/ldhansrd/text/100202-0...

Great stuff. But I wonder whether the Church would also give a similar undertaking? I appreciate that it is hard to make drafty local churches and cathedrals carbon neutral. But when it comes to its substantial investments in property, this would be a noble goal.

Since the 1985 Faith in the City report which praised the Church's investment in social housing, the C of E has been pursuing a more commercial policy. In fact it has been selling its social housing and investing in out of town shopping centres. As most people know, these have been criticised heavily for encouraging car use and also having a detrimental affect on localism.

Time for a change in the Church's policy perhaps? Definately worth a question to the Secretary to the Church Commissioners in the House of Commons. Any takers?

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